December 17th, 2012 15:05 EST
Christian-Muslim-Hindu-Buddhist-Jewish-Baha`i Leaders Come Together in Tribute to Connecticut Victims
Christian-Muslim-Hindu-Buddhist-Jewish-Baha`i leaders came together in Nevada today in a community-wide multi-faith memorial service in honor of Sandy Hook Elementary School Connecticut victims.
They recited prayers and read from scriptures in Arabic-Sanskrit-Hebrew-Aramaic besides English and lighted candles at Reno First Congregational Church (RFCC), paying tributes to all victims, their families, teachers, administrators, and first responders touched by this tragedy.
Organized by Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, who is Director Interfaith Relations of Nevada Clergy Association, in collaboration with RFCC Pastor Rich Smith, many in the audience were seen wiping their tears during this interfaith service. Audience accompanied well-known musician Jim Eaglesmith in his fusion rendition of "Give Peace a Chance".
Opening the service with Gayatri Mantra, most sacred mantra of Hinduism from oldest existing scripture of the world Rig-Veda,Rajan Zed said: We want to show that Nevada faiths are united in their mourning and support for the victims, their families and others affected by this tragic loss in Connecticut.
Besides Zed and Smith, other speakers included Sue Kennedy from Our Lady of Wisdom Catholic Church; Sherif Elfass, President of Northern Nevada Muslim Community; Carole Maupin from Reno Buddhist Center; Phillip Sanderson of Jewish Temple Emanu-El, Baha`i teacher Roya Galata; Daniel R. Sanchez, President of Interfaith Students Club of University of Nevada-Reno; and George Keele and Nicholas Frey from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
From left to right: Buddhist Carole Maupin, Baha`i Roya Galata, Catholic Sue Kennedy, Hindu Rajan Zed, Mormon Nicholas Frey, Jewish Phillip Sanderson, interfaith student leader Daniel Sanchez, Muslim Sherif Elfass, Mormon George Keele.Picture by: Meredyth A. Busick